Kimberley Crossman shares her best travel advice and how she unwinds after long-haul flights. Video / NZ Herald
From filming movies in Los Angeles to television shows in New Zealand (and hosting a podcast in between), Kimberley Crossman is no stranger to a busy life of work and travel.
Herald Travel sits down with Kiwi star to find out her thoughts on MIQ, people in Los Angeles, a hotel hack few people know about and her top travel tips.
Where do you go to ‘get off the grid’ and relax in New Zealand?
Pāuanui has always been the place I’ve gone to for a reset, even if I didn’t realise I needed it.
My family are very fortunate to have little bach, just a little Lockwood but for some reason, it’s where we become the best version of ourselves.
The days always seem 19,000 times longer there and it’s such a beautiful spot. The mountain is beautiful, the sea is beautiful and all my fondest family memories are from there as well.
I also think getting out of Auckland – perhaps it happens in Wellington and Christchurch and those bigger metropolitan cities as well – and being by the ocean doesn’t feel so much like a rat race where you feel like you must be doing a million different things.
You’ve spent a lot of time living in Los Angeles, what do you love about it?
I think LA gets a bit of a bad reputation but I really love the people there. They are the most curious, bizarre humans you’ve ever met.
LA may get a bad rap, but Crossman said the quirky, ambitious people you find in the city are an inspiration. Photo / Supplied
Because everyone has phenomenal goals they’re striving for and have given up so much to even pursue, there’s a beautiful energy and feeling that anything is possible. It’s really addictive.
On the flip side, when things aren’t going well it’s a hard place to exist in because it feels like everyone else is thriving. But, to me, it is far more interesting and exciting than no one striving for anything.
If a friend was visiting LA, what would you recommend they do?
If you’re going to Los Angeles you should find a healthy medium between touristy stuff and trying to find those local things.
I would recommend dining at a great sushi restaurant and a great Mexican restaurant. LA’s cuisine is phenomenal, there are so many amazing restaurants in LA and it’s just a different food palate. If you a spicy food fanatic, you’ll be in heaven.
Soaking up the sun at Zuma Beach. Photo / Supplied
I’m a huge fan of Zuma beach. It’s one up from Malibu Beach and it’s a little bit less tacky but it’s beautiful in a very different way.
Hiking in Malibu Canyon is also great and their theme parks are unparalleled too.
You should do the Chinese theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame just to see how tacky and disgusting it is. When I first visited, my heart was broken but then I realised, this is Hollywood; it’s a bit of a polished turd and that’s what makes it amazing.
It’s projected to the world as glamorous but it’s actually quite dark and dirty and gritty and harsh.
Santa Monica and Venice are just so artsy and creative and fun places as well. You can have a fine dining restaurant and right next door is the grossest alleyway that you’d be terrified to walk down. Nothing makes sense; it’s like a city on shuffle.
What are your top tips for travelling?
Always have your family on ‘Find My Friends’. I always joke it’s ‘Find my Remains’ because if anything happened, at least you’ll know my last known location.
I always travel with a neck pillow, which I exclusively wear around the front of my neck. I don’t understand how neck pillows work behind your head, maybe I just have too much of a hunchback but wearing it on the front is the best way.
Crossman during a trip to India. Photo / Supplied
Eat local cuisine, find out where people who live in that environment are eating, because then you meet curious people.
Tell people where you’re going, but also be open to exploring. Don’t plan out every detail and allow some fluidity in your travel and see where it takes you.
What do you do first after a long-haul flight?
I’m a huge advocate for putting clothes in drawers and making space your own. I’m a very transient person, I move houses and locations all the time, so it’s very much a mental thing for me.
When I arrive in a space, I often travel with a candle or something that makes me feel like ‘this is now my sanctuary’ so I feel settled. Otherwise, I’ve noticed I find sleeping difficult and feel disorientated.
I make no fans in the hospitality industry here but I also move furniture in hotel rooms all the time. People think that you can’t move furniture but you can. If you want the desk to be somewhere else and you’re working from there, you can move it then move it back.
As soon as I return to a space that is mine or where I’ll be for a while, I always shower. You feel very people-y after a long-haul flight so I shower all the people off me, (which includes washing my hair), put my clothes away or do a load of laundry. Then I’m a little more grounded.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Today, I’d definitely be on a plane to join some of my peers who are on the border of Ukraine and Romania.
I do a lot of work with World Vision and they’re on the border of Romania at the moment helping mainly women and children, providing safe spaces.
In 2016, Crossman, who is a World Vision ambassador, spent a week in Jordan to assist with the work the charity was doing for Syrian refugees. Photo / Supplied
I have done this work with them before on the border of Syria and Jordan, so I’m familiar with the work and if I could leave today that’s exactly where I’d head.
And for more of a holiday?
I’m actually really looking forward to going to Iceland with a couple of friends in a few months.
It’s a place I, honestly, know nothing about, so I’m excited to explore. I don’t know if I should do research… the only thing I should research is the temperature.
I went to South Korea once and had no idea how cold it was and was wildly unprepared. So that’s another tip; check the temperature and pack accordingly.
Crossman’s podcast ‘Pretty Depressed’, which talks to successful figures, advocates and experts about mental health launched its third season on March 8.